Photo credit: Jace Miller
By Angela Burns and Janene Gibbons
I’ve heard it said that the majority of great songs come from two main sources of inspiration: falling in love and falling out of love. Both bring up emotions that, as human beings, we can all relate to. Love and heartbreak make us question everything and ultimately sets us up for a journey that hopefully leads us to the truth and redemption.
Recently my best friend, Angela Burns and I, got to interview Jamie Victor from the Band “Sweet Eureka” on his debut album “Tough Luck” which has been five years in the making. Jamie was inspired to create the album after ending a 14-year relationship with his college sweetheart. During our interview, Jamie talked about how he surprised his now ex-wife with the same bench they shared their first kiss on at their wedding. Just talking to Jamie, it was apparent that this was a relationship that was very meaningful and special to him.
Jamie was a part of a band with his now ex-wife called Victor Victor Band, where he played guitar and sang. The band began to experience tremendous success, including being Voted “Best Unsigned Band in Philadelphia” by Philly Style Magazine. They also had their music played in Anthropologie and were featured on the TV show “Trading Spaces.” Eventually the band got a manager and a tour in Europe was in the works when it all ended.
“I lost my job, my wife, my best friend, my band, my dream, and my house all at once. Like the rug was pulled out from under me,” Victor said.
Sweet Eureka was formed in 2010 and is made up of Jamie Victor (vocals & guitar), Ari
Miller (drums & vocals), and Patrick Polli (bass & vocals).
“Ari and I met when we shared many stages together,” Jamie said. “Ari and I got together to jam and instantly started a band, always with the intention of adding a bass player/multi-instrumentalist to fill in the gaps.”
Patrick came into the picture after seeing Jamie play in Victor Victor Band at the North Star Bar, ultimately signing up for the band’s mailing list, which would pay off for him.
“Ari and I wrote songs and practiced twice a week for a year. We tried out a couple of bass players, but they weren’t the right fit,” Jamie said. “Prior to a show, I sent out an email to everyone on the VVB email list to come out and see us play with a droning Casio that served as a makeshift bassist. Pat got the email and inquired about playing bass for the band and joined after his first rehearsal.”
The band’s name, Sweet Eureka, came from a line off of one of Jamie’s favorite tracks, “Conscience Talking.”
“I made up a line in that song that went, ‘sweet eureka it’s the end of my concern.’ Ari pointed out that it should also be the name of the band. This came after a year of trying to unsuccessfully think of a name and feeling like all the good ones were already taken,” Jamie said.
Jamie and his band draws inspiration from musical artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, DJ Shadow, The Black Keys, Smashing Pumpkins, SRV, and The Beatles to name a few.
“Conscience Talking” really divides the album into two parts. All of the songs before that are about heartbreak and questioning—like they are trying to find the meaning and the reason for all of the sadness, in hopes for a possible reconciliation. After Conscience Talking, it feels like the rest of the songs are coming to terms with the aftermath and move towards the songs that talk about redemption like “Freeride” and “Hitting My Stride.”
Sweet Eureka will be featured on WMMR 93.3 around 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday during the month of November as well as be featured on Jaxon’s Local Shots. Stay tuned on WMMR’s Local Shots page to check out Sweet Eureka or visit their page at sweeteureka.com